My inquisitive nature paved the way – Ayobamigbe Teriba, Enye’s Country Coordinator

Team Conversations

My inquisitive nature paved the way – Ayobamigbe Teriba, Enye’s Country Coordinator

For our third conversation in this series, our Country Manager walks us through his pivot from inquisitive school leaver to startup evangelist, and how he has built a thriving career on strategic relationships.

In three words, describe what you do.

Operations, startups, and funding.

Okay, the long version?

I work with structures that enable entrepreneurs to build and scale innovative products. I source for high growth companies and provide support in equity funding and operational/market support. I also lead due diligence at the capital injection (investments) stage. I get to talk about the venture capital space with these companies as it is a form of exposure. I engage people, research, and find ways to support founders in their entrepreneurial journey, bearing in mind that building a company in Sub-saharan Africa is a communal effort.

What did you study in University again?

I have a BA in History and strategic studies from Unilag.

The math ain’t mathing.

You can say that again! I believe education is a canvas on which you can choose to be whoever you want to be after gathering preliminary knowledge and exposure. I chose History, and I believe that somehow, I am making the best use of the knowledge. I got exposed to startups from a graduate fair organised by the Lagos State Government under Ready Set Work, where I met Sean Burrowes. My inquisitive nature paved the way for me and got me to interview at Ingressive. I got in as a lead intern, gained a lot of exposure, and experienced tremendous career growth along the line. From there, I grew to become a  fund analyst at Ingressive Capital.

Ayo with Sean Burrowes and kelvin Umechukwu at Enye Hackathon 2020 demo day

When did all these happen?

I joined Ingressive in November 2017 and transitioned to Ingressive Capital in 2020

That’s pretty recent. 

Right? But that’s about four years of work experience.

Tell me how you joined Enye.

I’ve always been curious about team building. I met Uche in a central meeting that included Sean. I remember joining that conversation and keying in some ideas about the nonprofit landscape and talent upskilling in Nigeria. At the end of the meeting, Sean encouraged me to shoot my shot at Uche. I sent him an email with some of my ideas along with my resume. Fortunately, they were a good match. Enye’s executives interviewed me in December 2019 at Art Cafe. Two months later, I got onboarded.

How has your experience at Ingressive and Enye changed your view on startups?

Startups are basically “Aim for the Stars, shoot for the moon,” and every entrepreneur you see sweating it out is a superhero. I give my respect to founders. My experience with both organizations has grounded the belief that building and running a startup is a crazy journey.

Ayo with friends at Enye #DemoDay5

What do you think will be the next big thing aside from fintech?

Fintech is what it is because it is an essential infrastructure for things to work. For me, the next big thing is the ability to leverage data and its complexities for effective decision making. Every sector on the continent can become a big solid play, but fintech is the main rail that facilitates sustained cash flow. Anything handling the infrastructural problem in Africa will be a big thing – most especially sub-sectors the government isn’t operating efficiently. Fintech is big right now, but watch out for the creator economy – there is great potential for it to become massive.

What do you find to be the most significant operational challenge for Nigerian early-stage startups? 

Talents and aligned entrepreneurship support. Money is essential, but open, transparent, and equal opportunity can also make a huge difference.

It’s currently Transfer Szn in Nigerian startups. Any hot takes?

Great talents will always find exciting opportunities.

How do you balance life with work?

I create time for my friends. I find time to interact, and I go out on Fridays to catch up with other players in the ecosystem and relax. I work remotely, so I have to consciously decide to stay off my laptop; I am careful not to get so sucked into work that I don’t have a life outside it.

Ayo and Chika Obiwuru, Enye’sProgram Coordinator

What’s one thing you do that really boosts your productivity?

If something is not working, I step back and seek help. 

What’s one startup you really love, that you would throw $100,000 at it if you had the money?

Paystack, but they don’t need my money again.

Touche. Do you have any career advice for entrants into the tech and startup scene?

Find opportunities that match your skills. Do things well and strive to solve problems. Get a life outside work as well. Aside from knowing your stuff, relationships with the right people are backchannels to speed-boost your career journey.

What do you like most about working at Enye?

We are driven by our mission to connect talent to opportunities and help build out outstanding ideas. The mission fuels our commitment, despite us all having full-time jobs elsewhere. The team structure is super flat and complimentary. It’s remote-first too, so you can sleep all you like but please complete your deliverables in Notion 🙂

Ultimately, at Enye, it’s people first – your mental, physical and social well-being is valuable to the team.

Leave your thought here

Your email address will not be published.